Upgrading Security Using a Retrofit Approach
The airport was experiencing problems with its previous electronic access control vendor – it was unable to eliminate intermittent disruptions – which forced the airport to temporarily revert to its original manual keyed lock system to maintain security. Eventually, the previous access control system was only used to make ID badges.
BSPIIA was looking for an improved working electronic access control system in addition to upgrading overall security to the latest Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) compliances.
Since Brownsville doesn’t have a city aviation department like larger metropolitan areas, it worked with a consulting engineering firm, Ross & Baruzzini (R&B) in St. Louis, Mo., to design and manage a security retrofit.
Saving by Integrating
BSPIIA used Matrix Systems’ Frontier software to integrate existing BSPIIA equipment as well as future ancillary component upgrades as they become available on the market.
In addition to the software, Matrix Systems provided access control hardware consisting of a server, two networked workstations, one building controller, 10 reader control modules (RCM), and card readers for approximately 12 doors, bag belts and TSA security gates.
In addition to retaining existing security video and cabling infrastructure, the airport wanted to integrate its three original circa 1950’s bag belts into the security system. The equipment was perfectly functional, however it was manufactured long before microprocessors were used to control and monitor baggage handling equipment. Furthermore, original schematics on their electro-mechanical controls were no longer available, which made their integration into the new access control software totally customized. “Replacing bag belts is a huge expense and bringing in additional contractors to solve the integration challenges would have raised the access control renovation costs significantly,” said Brown.
Also, much of the cable infrastructure remained in place at a savings to BSPIIA — a majority of the 12-volt and 24-volt DC cabling was reused in the re-design.
In addition, if an alarm is activated, the new access control software notifies the airport director, airport operations supervisor, as well as other security staffers and administration via cell phone and email.